HK《THE TUBE WORLD MONTHLY》 on Apr. 2017 Editor Notice-- PSVANE WE101D- the Powerful Return of the King of Triode

PSVANE WE 101D Triode

(retailing price RMB 3,600/ pair)


PSVANE, Changsha-based (Hunan province) amplifier’s manufacturer, has its new WE 101D triode amplifier tube launched recently. I felt mesmerized about it after listening testing as the fair sound, rich taste and strong sensation that this small-shaped tube with its design originating from WESTERN ELECTRIC classic tubes of the United States has brought, is unprecedentedly amazing, suggesting China’s amplifiers’ qualities attaining supreme level. Therefore, I am sure that PSVANE WE101D will definitely and immediately be a new hit product used as amplifier by many specialists. What’s more, with numerous talents in tubes’ design, a greater amount of excellent pre-amp and post-amp will be manufactured underpinned by the most fair-sounded PSVANE WE101D.

   Before the expand-out of the best-of-breed sound performance of PSVANE WE101D, it is necessary to have a brief review to the great WE manufacturing process. In the 1940s, Western Electronics has produced the dominated product covering the whole media market of the United States with its prevailing in theaters, studios and radio and broadcasting industry etc. In this connection, manufacturers have employed a large group of scientific research talents engaged in design and manufacturing audio applications of varies kinds and other components including vacuum tubes, amps, loudspeakers and so on, among which Western Electronics vacuum tubes with their sophisticated design and exquisite craftsmanship are well-known to the world. Quality products such as 300B amp tubes and 274B rectifier tubes are so unparalleled that have been a household name especially among Hi-Fi fanciers. Two small-shaped tubes of Western Electronics known for their special status, condensed beauty, high value were 205D and 101D respectively. Produced by Western Electronics in the earlier period, these two tubes have impressed people with the ‘all for fair sound’ of design. Their shields have been well-structured with the best materials rare in the world, embodying their sound performance with extreme high fidelity when powered on, though they were slightly weaker-performed in stability. Later, among those amps made by Western Electronics, 41/42 as a celebrity, has draw the merit of the 205D. And it turned out that 41/42 as one of the highest paid antique amps, when operated in greatest condition, has the greatest sound performance that no other amps could match. However, as rectifier tubes and amplifier tubes all have to adopt 250D, only one pair of 41/42 should be operated with as much as eight 205D tubes. With 205D’s current pricing over 10,000 RMB and differing in sound quality after 80-90s, it takes enormous energy and money to collect as much as eight of them. As the fancier of 41/42, I have used eight 205Ds selected from antique 205Ds, when playing on the stereo, presenting not-so-pleasant performance in the balance between left and right channel. Fine tubes such as WE300B or WE274B used to have their replica-versions, yet, with the exquisite structure of 205D, rarely has had manufacturer produced the replica of it. Until two years earlier, PSVANE, expertising in re-producing Western Electronics, has broken new ground by leading the pace in designing and manufacturing 205D successfully. After the release of PSVANE WE205D, I used eight of them for a fine listening of 41/42. Turns out that sound they jointly brought to me were twice to triple greater in performance. I dare not to say PSVANE WE 205D is better than WE antique one when compared in terms of sound performance. But, due to the stability of new tube, eight balanced PSVANE tubes were evidently greater-performed and more qualified than those antique tubes cross-dating and unbalanced did.

  On the other hand, the sameness in the deign of 101D and 205D lies in the same 4.5 volts of their filament voltage with slightly thinner of filament current of 101D. Western Electronics has failed to use it for the theater-based amps. And according to the record, the adoption of 101D by Western Electronics have almost been for telephone-type amps, though later some fore-sighted fancier re-assembled the telephone-type WE amps and used them as HI-FI pre-amps. Since 1970s, many DIYers in Japan has produced 101D amps for self use. However, a problem facing by all 101D adopters, as the same to 205D users, was the getting of 101D antique tubes expensive increasingly in price. On this, the launch of PSVANE WE205D was a glimmer of hope for those long-expected 101D fanciers including me who has been desperate for the coming of PSVANE 101Ds. I waited for 2 years before WE 101D had been put into use in my house.

P&C 101D amp I used once is the masterpiece of a famous Japanese tube master, Toshiaki. It is the first 101D amp made in a factory. With 1.2 volts in each sound single-channel output, the extraordinarily fair sound effect it produced when in cooperated operation with high-efficient loudspeakers was almost beyond description (more details in THE TUBE WORLD MONTHLY Nov. 2014). However, this amp also was met the problem in the coordination with proper vacuum tubes with Western Electronics 101D’s change from round-shape to cucurbit-shaped shield. Round-shaped one has higher price yet is greater in sound effect, two of which I had once selected from many antique 101Ds. But after some time, one of them has undergone some changes in sound performance, I had no choice but change it with cucurbit-shaped tube featuring lower musicality and sound appeal. Therefore, I felt regretful for the round-shaped tubes. Thanks to PSVANE, 101D it has brought to us consoled and delighted me indeed. Had PSVANE WE 101D been capable to compete with 205D, there should be no doubt that P&C be the most valuable amp (retailing price 300,000 JPY, or about 20,000 HKD).

To meet the demand of WE 101D fanciers, PSVANE has offered two kinds of pins, one suitable for WE antique tubes socket, the other for 300B four-feet socket. I chose the former one by replacing WE cucurbit-shaped tube with PSVANE WE 101D. Undoubtedly, it was one of the finest tubes I have ever listened to, especially due to the crystal-pure sound and softness in medium and high frequency. Any reputed tube three times larger-sized than 101D (including WE 300B), can not replace the latter. With the physical restriction of outputting more than 1 volt, 101D is not enough to give out sound outright when in climax, which can be dealt with by the well-qualified PSVANE 101D powered on in more than 50 square meters. Moreover, the excellence in sound appeal has brought me a fantastic feeling.

 With PSVANE WE101D prominent performance, I could not help using recently- made CD Bible 2017 for listening to test qualities of other tubes. The CD covers all kinds of musics, classics, blues, pop, or Chinese etc. What I have found out was that the only amp that survived in this listening test is WE 41/42, on top of which is 205D, a round-shaped tube made by PSVANE.

In addition to fair sound, PSVANE WE 101D is also known for its stability. 7-8 of using hours each day causes no changes in the fineness of its sound. Indeed, PSVANE is in the vanguard of Hifi industry. I have learned that UK’s AUDIO NOTE has started to use PSVANE products. The general manager of AUDIO NOTE, Peter Qvortrup has recently visited PSVANE in Changsha, Hunan province. On the stopover trip in Hongkong he said to me, after have had a visit and clear observation in PSVANE, he now believes that PSVANE may be higher-leveled than WE. How can’t I not trust the words out of the specialist’s mouth?